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Corbyn calls for reinstatement of paused rail schemes

Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn has called for reinstatement of the “paused” rail electrification schemes in the North West.

The MP for Islington North said the TransPennine and Midland Mainline upgrade schemes should be taken off hold to boost employment and improve the railways.

The projects were suspended by transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin in June to allow Network Rail to focus on electrification of the Great Western Main Line.

But Corbyn, who is one of four in the race to be Labour’s next leader, yesterday challenged this decision in a document titled Northern Future.

The document called for “restoration of Network Rail’s electrification plans on TransPennine and Midland Mainline routes”.

It added: “Crucially, [this] would redevelop the skills and expertise at building our own rolling stock here in Britain as part of an overall industrial strategy. That much of the network continues to run on trains built in Britain prior to the deliberate decimation of the industry by the Major government is a testament to the skill of those workers.”

Corbyn also called for nationalisation of rail franchises, and abandonment of rules forcing transport service contracts to be put to the private sector.

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